Laura Gaetano: “My biggest productivity hack is to sleep when I’m tired!”

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Gaetano keeps herself busy with being a developer and teaching coding. She is involved in Rails Girls Summer of Code and the vienna.rb Meetup. Furthermore Gaetano likes owls, NASA trivia and Taekwondo. She is also part of CloudFleet, a startup making it possible to communicate securely via email. Right now they are running their Indiegogo campaign, a good reason for us to ask five questions.

What’s your favorite business app?

One of my favorite apps is actually my calendar; up until now I’ve been using Sunrise, where I can aggregate all of my calendars: personal and professional as well as my “free time activities” (meetups, exercising) and all the scheduling of blog posts for ie. CloudFleet or Rails Girls Summer of Code. Some other apps I use extensively are Self-Control (to keep me focused when writing or coding) and RescueTime (to have an idea of where my computer time goes).

With which famous person would you want to start a startup and what would the product/business be?

Having worked in the music business, I’d love to get something off the ground to optimize processes; I actually recently had a conversation about this with someone at 32C3, where we talked about how the music industry is in part very slow at changing its structure. I’d love to change these traditional structures (musicians, managers, bookers, audience) together with a strong woman who knows her way around the music industry but has been advocating for change..

Someone like Amanda Palmer or Björk or Kathleen Hanna.

Do you have any rituals to stay productive or increase your productivity?

My biggest productivity hack is to sleep when I’m tired! I love working in the evening and “getting stuff done”, but I notice more and more that our culture is obsessed with working at all times and never getting any rest.

I really try to avoid that, because I know that I don’t think straight when my brain is exhausted. Over a year ago I stopped drinking coffee, and when I can I follow my natural rhythm — if I’m tired in the evening, I go to sleep early and wake up feeling refreshed the next day.

What does your work place look like, what are your desk essentials?

Even though most of my work doesn’t require much more than my computer and an internet connection, I still write my daily to-dos on paper. For that, paper and post-its are an essential for me, especially when I’m not working from sektor5 (my favorite co-working space, where my workspace is flexible).

Something I also always have on my desk is my water bottle, which I carry with me everywhere. It reminds me to stay hydrated regularly!

What bothers you most about being an entrepreneur/self-employed and what are you doing to deal with it/change it?

I’m currently making the real switch from employed to self-employed, but even with “side-projects” before I’ve had a certain problem which I think most freelancers have: it’s very difficult to know when to stop.

As an entrepreneur, when do you know when your day is over? When can you allow yourself to go into relax- or weekend-mode? I find this particularly difficult in our society where work and play have been consistently merging. I have a pretty good support network, with people who sometimes kick my butt and force me to take a break.

My friend Andie, especially, is really good at that. To avoid falling into the trap of “always working”, I try to take breaks and not feel bad about it, and have at least one day a week that’s only for me (or for meeting friends/reading a book/baking cookies).

I’ve noticed that the world doesn’t end if I don’t finish something when I had planned to and go for a walk with a friend instead — this doesn’t mean I skip all deadlines, but that I’m trying to find a balance between the two. It’s a constant work in progress, and I’m hoping to get better at it someday.

© Manuel Carreon Lopez

Posted by FashionCamp on Wednesday, April 22, 2015


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Hallo, ich bin Silicon Valley Reporterin, lebe in San Francisco, trinke meinen Kaffee selten aus und bin großer Fan vom Dog Park ums Eck. Ruft mich nicht an.

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